ON THE PROBLEM OF SPATIAL RELATION BETWEEN CEMETERY AND SETTLEMENT AREA IN THE AVAR KHAGANATE PERIOD IN SOUTHERN SLOVAKIA (K problematike priestoroveho vztahu medzi pohrebiskom a sidliskovym arealom v obdobi avarskeho kaganatu na ..Slovensku)
The study presents results of the analyses of spatial relations between a settlement and cemetery that pertains to it. Six pairs of those situated in lowland regions of western and central Slovakia (Cifer-Pac, Komarno, Obid, Prsa, Radvan nad Dunajom-Zitava and Sala) were evaluated. The sites were fixed in maps with the scale of 1:10 000, on satellite snaps, aerial photography and in the maps of the second Austrian-Hungarian military surveying. Description of the site pairs is ensued by characterization of contemporary eco-parameters. These could be divided into unchanging (geographic position, geologic and pedologic characteristics, altitude, location of a cemetery in relation to the settlement), changing (distance from a water source, ground water level, climatic specificities) and other eco-parameters (vegetation characteristics). The distance between a settlement and pertaining burial ground was evaluated as well. Following theses are representing summary of the analyses and their outcomes: - Choice of a place for settlement is to the greatest degree determined by water source vicinity. - The existence of even small elevation in the settlement proximity is relevant to become a place of eternal rest of the dead. - The elevation is situated rather close to the settlement. This is conditioned by need of visual contact with graves and by safe transport of the dead as well. - Elevation used as a cemetery has its practical function as bottoms of deepest graves had to be situated higher than was a ground water level. - The location of the cemetery is not conditioned by its orientation toward the settlement. In the end, the model is applied to the Avar Khaganate period and then compared to situations in other prehistoric, proto-historic and early medieval periods. In general we can state that characteristics are very similar. The finding that the distance between a settlement area and adjacent cemetery used to be rather small - from the immediate vicinity to 500 m in maximum - is significant.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.